In or out?
The debate will live on, but one thing is certain — Macy Miller’s dramatic goal, hit from just inside the 18 and into the far post side panel with 89 seconds left, gave Carmel (Carmel, Ind.) a 1-0 win over Brebeuf Jesuit (Indianapolis, Ind.) on Saturday to highlight action at the Lady Eagle Invitational in Zionsville, Ind.
Carmel junior Jessica Cowen ignited a perfect give-and-go, received the return pass and headed toward the end line. Here’s where the story gets touchy. Cowen beat her defender on the end line and headed toward goal. Brebeuf players paused, thinking the ball was clearly out of bounds, but there was no flag — no whistle, so Cowen sent a pass to a while open Miller, whose right-footed strike was perfectly placed.
The goal — and result — stunned Brebeuf players, who collapsed to the ground after the final whistle. Brebeuf had the better of the play and created more scoring chances, but ended up on the losing end of a regular-season match for the first time since 2013.
“That’s the kind of game we needed,” Carmel coach Frank Dixon said of high-level competition that featured several ECNL and college-bound players. As for whether the ball leading to the winning goal was out of bounds, Dixon hadn’t a clue. Brebeuf players said it was more than a foot out of bounds.
None-the-less, the result will move Carmel to No. 1 in this week’s TopDrawerSoccer.com Indiana state rankings, released Monday, and likely will move the team up in the SIMA FAB 50, released Tuesday.
While Brebeuf had the better of the play, it was Carmel senior keeper Celene Funk, who literally saved the day for the Greyhounds. She made three key saves to keep the clean sheet. Funk was named MVP of the group, which Carmel won.
If Brebeuf and Carmel meet again this season, the stakes will be much higher. Although they are in different sections, their sections are posed to meet in the regional round — a step before the state tournament.
CRUNCH TIME: Five of the six varsity matches that started at 4:45 p.m. Saturday at the Lady Eagle Invitational, held at the Zionsville Youth Soccer Association complex, had SIMA FAB 50 implications.
Beside’s Carmel’s 1-0 win over Brebeuf, Medina (Medina, Ohio) and Noblesville (Noblesville, Ind.) played to a scoreless draw; Fishers (Fishers, Ind.) edged Sacred Heart Academy (Louisville, Ky.) 1-0; Mount Notre Dame (Cincinnati, Ohio) edged Notre Dame Academy (Park Hills, Ky.) 1-0; and Evansville Memorial (Evansville, Ind.) and St. Ursula Academy (Cincinnati, Ohio) played to a 2-2 draw.
MOVING UP: Five matches featuring three nationally ranked teams were canceled Friday due to lightning, leaving the event short several key contests. That said, there were still big winners in what basically turned into a one-day event. Noblesville, coming off a win over SIMA FAB 50-ranked Fishers on Wednesday, added a Saturday morning victory over No. 47 Sacred Heart Academy and an afternoon draw with No. 5 Medina. Penn posted a victory over Sylvania Northview (Sylvania, Ohio), a team that tied perennial Ohio powerhouse Walsh Jesuit (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio).
40+ MINUTES: Zionsville and Roncalli completed their lightning-interrupted match from Friday, which got off to an odd start. Roncalli led 1-0 with just under 2 minutes left in the first half when the match was postponed Friday. The Saturday plan was to play the last 1:45 of the first half, swap sides of the field and – without a break – play the second half. Ellie Lewis scored little over a minute into Saturday’s contest, which made it a 1-1 game at "halftime." Following the break, Lewis scored a second goal – this one giving Zionsville a 2-1 win.
McCutcheon (Ind.) 4, Lexington Christian Academy (Ky.) 1.